NYC Style Chicken & Rice | The Halal Guys Inspired


Happy Friday!

I wanted to share with you an incredible recipe my friend Zakiya @ Blend of Spice created. I was always blown away by her creative talents in the 10-ish years that we’ve known each other, but watching her transition into wife/motherhood has been exceptionally inspirational. I come from a pretty non-traditional household, my mom isn’t much of a cook and doesn’t love it the way I hear of other moms – like my MIL who is a beast in the kitchen *salivates*. Needless to say I was a bit unprepared & insecure about my domestic abilities when I was thrown into having a household of my own. So while I can’t come up with amazing dishes on my own (yet..?), I can follow recipes without fail haha. I’ve gotten into a horrible habit of not saving the recipes that have worked out well for me, so every time I want to make the dish again I have to scour the internet until I find the page that might be it. So this begins my attempt to not only earmark an incredible dish, but also share it with you, & introduce you to my gf Zakiya!

My relationship with my husband began in New York, for the year and a half that we were dating & engaged I was in the city at least once a month. We were young with more energy then (ha!) so after our nights out, we’d always end up at The Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th at 4am. Their chicken & rice has become so iconically New York that I can’t not get some every time I visit, even now. Let’s be honest though… it’s only really good at 4am, any other time you’re left with a stomach ache and you end up hating yourself. It is fast street food after-all. I’ve kept an eye on Zakiya’s recipes on her blog for awhile and have made notes of tons of things I’ve been wanting to make (Rasmali cake.. HELLO!?) but never really got around to it. But the moment I saw her chicken & rice recipe I began preparing immediately.

I’ve made the dish twice already, mostly to make sure I wasn’t just lucky the first time because it was so mouthwateringly delicious. Dare I say it….. its actually better than the real thing. How can it not be though? Fresh ingredients, less grease, not sitting on a street all day! It’s so easy to make too, I made very very slight tweaks based on preference and what I had available in my kitchen so be sure to check out Zakiya’s OG recipe as well. The second time around I also figured out a streamline way to make the three parts – the white sauce and chicken need to sit for awhile, so when I made it the first time I was a bit out of order and I didn’t have enough time for my sauce to develop. IMO it’s most efficient to go in this order…. let’s begin with the white sauce!

First, put your rice in water so it soaks while you prepare the other items.

White Sauce


  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Dill
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • Juice from half a Lemon


  1. Whisk together in a bowl
  2. Add milk if you feel its too thick (I didn’t need to)
  3. Let sit for an hour so the flavor can develop




  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Shawarma Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 4 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • Handful of mint (finely chopped)
  • Juice from half a Lemon
  • 1 tsp Siracha Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 2 tsp Coconut Oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl & let marinate for at least 30 minutes
  2. Cook on high heat until meat is cooked thoroughly and all juices evaporate

I didn’t have to use any oil while cooking since the coconut oil was already mixed in (chunky since it’s solid at room temp).

Halal-Guys-Chicken-Rice-3 Halal-Guys-Chicken-Rice-4



  • 1 cup Rice (pre soaked)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Pinch of Saffron threads soaked in tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Butter or Ghee
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Sautee onions until translucent
  2. Add rest of the ingredients and cook rice accordingly

If you come from a rice-cooker home and are a newb like me lol, cover the rice and let it cook on medium/low heat until the rice is fluffy and no longer “wet”.



And we’re done!! Plate your rice and chicken, drizzle the white sauce and siracha (or whatever hot sauce you prefer), toast some pita, and enjoy!!

Gah, it’s so yummy and I think 2nd day leftovers are even better. Try it out and let us know what you think!


Thank you again Zakiya for being such an inspiration! Be sure to check out her blog Blend of Spice & follow her on Instagram!



  1. Madiha
    May 20, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Hi Irene! This recipe looks DELICIOUS! What kind of rice did you use? :)

  2. Hajira
    May 20, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    So totally trying this for the weekend! Good job Chef Irene!! Haha Thanks for the recipe! :*

  3. M
    May 21, 2016 / 8:23 am

    Didn’t it taste more like qeema than chicken since you used minced chicken? Love the recipe! Can’t wait to try

    • May 21, 2016 / 10:22 am

      Not at all, it honestly didn’t taste like anything we’ve made before because of the shawarma seasoning and vinegar I’m assuming. Completely diff flavor palette

  4. Sheena
    June 11, 2016 / 11:35 am

    I’ve made this recipe twice now and my family and I love it!!!!! This recipe is to die for! I even made it with basmati brown rice and it’s delicious! Thank you Irene!

  5. Shefali
    June 15, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Love this! What brand of Shawarma seasoning did you use?

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